Not to be confused with Virus (Skin).
A Virus is a green cell that can be used offensively and defensively. If a cell consumes a virus, it will "pop", sending out 15 or less bite-sized bits of the cell in different directions. A cell can eject 7 times to fire a virus, sending another virus into a cell.
Viruses appear to be large, green, and bush-like circles with tiny spikes on their edges, reminiscent to those of a blade. In Teams, FFA and Party mode a virus will grow larger depending on the amount of "W" mass you give it.
Viruses can be used for both offense and defense, as they are commonly used by smaller, weaker cells to consume larger, more challenging cells.
FFA & Team Mode
A new virus can be created by a cell by ejecting a maximum of 7 blobs by using the W function. When the virus is given the 7th blob, it will eject another virus in the opposite direction of the last pellet that fed the virus. This mechanic is often used to attack larger cells, who would otherwise be impossible to consume for the player. Keep in mind that when a cell is in range to give mass to a virus, it is also in range for the ejected virus. Ejecting viruses at other cells has considerable risk of counterattack. Viruses that are closer to ejection appear swollen and have more spikes.
In experimental mode, viruses behave differently. Rather than splitting, viruses given mass will "slide" a length in the aimed direction depending on the amount of mass injected into it.
Viruses are no longer able to be duplicated in Experimental mode. Instead of launching a second virus hurling in the opposite direction of the oppressing cell, the virus will move a small length forward for each amount of mass given to the virus. This can be a lot more mass-consuming, and makes it a lot more challenging to launch a successful virus into a cell. On the plus side, this also means you can move a virus out of your path without eating it.
The spawner virus introduced in experimental mode is a lot different than its default counterparts. Spawner viruses tend to be much larger than normal viruses, and have a special orange-brown color as opposed to the green color of a normal virus. These viruses will occasionally dispense mass in the form of pellets. A spawner cell can be fed "W" mass, dispensing it out in the form of pellets. This is useful for "instant merging", when cells split in two decide they want to combine earlier by feeding their smaller parts to the spawner virus and collecting the pellets afterward. Be warned, this does not stop opponents from taking the mass as well. A cell cannot "hide" inside of this virus as it is able to do so with a default virus, as it will consume the cell and disperse its mass via pellets. If a cell is close to exactly the same size as the spawner, they may enter inside of the spawner virus without worry of explosion or death, but should take caution as opponents could feed the cell, causing it to explode due to being too big, or be consumed into the spawner virus should the opposing cell feed the virus instead. If a cell is bigger than a spawner virus and it consumes it, then it will behave as a normal virus, dispersing the cell into several pieces.
The Dark Virus
In Experimental Mode on 2015-06-11 this virus had a 5% chance to naturally spawn instead of a regular virus. When consumed, it had the same effect as a normal virus, splitting the cell into several smaller cells. These viruses were larger and darker than normal viruses, requiring more mass to consume or eject. It took 16 mass ejections (~255 mass) to eject a dark virus. A mass of ~300 was needed to consume a dark virus as a single cell, ~320 as multiple cells. When consumed while having the max number of cells, dark viruses added ~255 mass to the player's cell. Dark viruses were removed the next day, on 2015-06-12.
The experimental mode added a twist to the existing normal virus, changing what happens when a player ejects mass into the virus. Instead of shooting out another virus, ejecting mass into a virus causes it to move away from the direction of the ejection. Each ejection makes the virus move 1—2 squares on the map, accelerating with faster ejections. This makes the virus ejections easier to dodge and counter, as well as forcing cells to use viruses they find rather than creating more themselves. This also removes the problem of moving around the original virus to eat a cell that you have just split with an ejected.
- If a cell reaches the maximum of 16 cell counterparts, a virus can be safely consumed if the certain cell is bigger than the virus.
- A virus contains 100 mass.
- However, if a cell feeds a virus with W pellets, the mass the virus will contain increases. The 7th time it's fed by a W pellet, a new virus is shot in the direction of the last W pellet.
- Viruses have no collision with each other, and are able to take up the same space and location as another virus.
- A virus will bounce off the edge of the map if they are launched in the direction of the border. This is useful if you are being chased by a larger cell along the border.
- A normal virus can be shot into a spawner virus in Experimental mode. When the spawner virus has successfully consumed the normal virus, it will dispense mass in the form of pellets.
- A virus will not consume a cell if it is larger than the cell. A cell may "hide" in a virus, slipping into the center of it.
- Pellets cannot spawn in range of viruses in experimental mode.
- Viruses consumed in Teams mode will not give extra mass when they are consumed.
- Eating more than 2 viruses in less than 30 seconds activates anti-teaming so be careful!
- Many advanced tactics such as popsplits involve viruses.